The Buttfumble is easy to remember for most, but hard to forget for New York Jets fans. The Wikipedia page for that single play has more than 2,500 words on the reactions, aftermath and legacy left by one mistake made by Mark Sanchez that was so ridiculous and cartoonish that it altered the futures of many involved.
Sanchez was already wearing out his welcome as the starting quarterback of the Jets before he ran into the backside of Brandon Moore, but the Buttfumble came to define his downfall. After leading the Jets to the AFC Championship in each of his first two seasons and improving statistically in his first three years, Sanchez regressed in 2012.
But before the Buttfumble, Sanchez wasn't having a terrible year. He had 11 touchdowns and nine interceptions in his first 10 starts, but finished with eight interceptions and one touchdown in the four games that came after a 49-19 destruction at the hands of the New England Patriots on Thanksgiving.
The Jets' fortunes changed with that play and it marked the turning point for Sanchez and Rex Ryan, who have both been sent elsewhere. Was it coming anyway? Probably, but the Buttfumble acted as the catalyst that marked the beginning of the end.
But three years later, how much different are things, really? Ryan is a head coach in the AFC East and ranting about catching up to the Patriots, who are still dominating. Sanchez will start against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Week 11 and has a chance to earn a full-time starting job in Philadelphia if he plays well. He started on Thanksgiving last year and is likely to do so again when the Eagles play the Detroit Lions on Thursday.
And just like three years ago, Sanchez will try to lead an underperforming team that is trying to cling to postseason hopes.
Yes, even after the embarrassment of the Buttfumble and 82 touchdowns with 81 interceptions in his career, Sanchez may actually win a starting job once again. According to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network, Sam Bradford's future with the Eagles is "murky" and the team will likely be in the market for a quarterback in the 2015 NFL Draft. Just like the Jets were a few months after the Buttfumble, when the team selected Geno Smith in the second round of the 2013 NFL Draft.
Three years since the Buttfumble, we're likely going to be treated to some more Sanchez football on Thanksgiving, although there's no way he'll ever top the play that ultimately proved to be the end of his time with the Jets.